"Harmony Of All Religions" (Sarvadharma Samanvy) -- A Book Exploring Inner Light and Sound Meditation in the Great World Religions: Vedic Tradition -- Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, and the Sant Mat tradition -- Authored by Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj, Translated Into English by Veena Howard, Published by the Santmat Society of North America, also published by Maharshi Mehi Ashram, Kuppaghat, Bhagalpur, Bihar, India, and, Sant Mat Society of North America, and, Santmat Satsang Samiti, Chandrapur, India.
"Vedic dharma has its temples, Christianity its churches, and Islam its mosques. But the real temple is the heart. God is attained within: the path to God lies within oneâs own self, as all the saints have taught this with unanimity. The inner path begins in Sushumana, ajana chakra (the tenth gate between two eyebrows)."
Our Path Back to the Source -- The Inward Journey Back to God -- The Essence of Dharma
"Sant Mat (the path and teachings as taught and practiced by saints) delineates the path of union of soul with the Divine. The teachings of the saints explain the re-uniting as follows:
"The individual soul has descended from the higher worlds [the Realm of the Divine] to this city of illusion, bodily existence. It has descended from the Soundless State to the essence of Sound, from that Sound to Light, and finally from the realm of Light to the realm of Darkness. The qualities (dharmas, natural tendencies) of the sense organs draw us downward and away from our true nature.
"The nature of the soul (atman) draws us upwards and inwards and establishes us in our own true nature. Returning to our origins involves turning inward: withdrawal of consciousness from the senses and the sense objects in order to go upward from the darkness to the realms of Light and Sound. [We experience this phenomenon of withdrawal as we pass from waking consciousness to deep sleep.] Another way to express this is to go inward from the external sense organs to the depth of the inner self. (Both of these expressions are the metaphors that signify the same movement). The natural tendencies of the soul (atman) are to move from outward to inward. The current of consciousness which is dispersed in the nine gates of the body and the senses, must be collected at the tenth gate.
"The tenth gate is the gathering point of consciousness. Therein lies the path for our return. The tenth gate is also known as the sixth chakra, the third eye, bindu, the center located between the two eyebrows. This is the gateway through which we leave the gates of the sense organs and enter in the divine realms and finally become established in the soul. We travel back from the Realm of Darkness to the Realm of Light, from the Light to the Divine Sound, and from the Realm of Sound to the Soundless State. This is called turning back to the Source.
"This is what dharma or religion really intends to teach us. This is the essence of dharma."
-- Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj, Harmony Of All Religions
September 22, 2012
Book Review: Harmony of All Religions
Book Review: Harmony of All Religions
By James Bean
Copyright October 2006 -- All Rights Reserved
Harmony Of All Religions (Sarvadharma Samanvy), by Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj, explores inner Light and Sound Mysticism in the great world religions: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikh, Islam, the Judeo-Christian tradition, and there is a chapter dedicated to Sant Mat.
Veena Howard translated the English edition of this book from India. In the Editor's Note at the beginning she writes: "From this day onward our whole world has changed. The "shock and awe" witnessed by the destruction of the towers has sent shock waves through all the established value systems. The feelings of fear and distrust have numbed the hearts of people worldwide and have paralyzed the sense of clear vision. But time of despair must be taken as an opportunity, an opening to search for new horizons, to re-assess our values, and to understand other cultures and religions. This is exactly what the great Sant, Maharishi Shri Santsevi Ji, has sought to accomplish by his book, Harmony of All Religions. Shri Santsevi Ji Maharaj has been teaching the path of mysticism for many decades and believes in the underlying principles of all prominent world religions."
One of the most impressive books I've ever read on comparative religion and mysticism is, Harmony of All Religions, taking this study to a whole new level. This newly translated book contains chapters on the Vedic Tradition (Krishna, Gita, Hinduism, bhakti, yoga), Jainism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam-Sufism, Sikhism, and Santmat: the Way of Sages, also known as The Path of the Masters. There is also a biography of the author, as well as an editor's note, which affirms the need for a greater, more in-depth understanding of the great world religions and mysticism in an age of increased global travel and communication.
'Depth' is a word I often find myself using to describe the writings, teachings, and spiritual guidance of Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj, who resides at the Maharishi Mehi Ashram in Bhagalpur, Bihar District, India.
His spiritual discourses on each of the world religions are very scholarly, accurately and eloquently communicating all these "gospels": beautiful and charming accounts of the childhood of Jesus, the enlightenment of Guru Nanak hearing the voice of the One God (Ek Ong Kaar Sat Naam) as he was bathing in the river Bein, Siddhartha leaving the palace, Muhammad's experiences with Allah in the cave of Ghar-e Hira, etc.... providing an in-depth analysis of the sacred texts of these above-mentioned faith-communities, brimming with quotes and footnotes, from not only the well-known world scriptures but lesser-known sacred texts and spiritual classics of the mystics and saints at the heart of these traditions.
The chapter on Lord Mahavira and Jainism for instance breaks new ground in the study of a major world religion that has received very little attention in the West. The same can really be said for each of the chapters of this new book on inter-faith studies. The author displays an intimate knowledge of the history, terminology, esoteric writings, and meditation practices used by the various schools of mystics within each of the world religions, often pointing out the shared vision, the common goals and common threads along the way, such as similar ethical principals of ahimsa or non-violence in thought, word, and deed (like the Golden Rule), the Vegetarian Diet of Light and Sound Mystics, Dharma, the Eight Limbs of Yoga, Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path, chakras, subtle bodies, meditation techniques including the use of mantras, mystical stages of transcendence, Sound-mysticism (Nada Yoga or Yoga of Sound), Light-mysticism (Dristi Yoga or Yoga of Light), the inward journey or ascension to other realms/heavens, jivan mukti or moksha (salvation, liberation of the soul), self (atma) and God (Paramatma) realization.
The final paragraph of the book summarises the universalist spirit of peace and harmony (as in the harmony of all religions) in the following way: "In different times and different places Saints appear and their followers name their religion according to the Sage or Saint who propounded that tradition. The appearance of differences can be attributed to time, place, and language. This gives rise to various labels for the common views held by all religions. Likewise, due to excessively zealous followers, these seeming differences are often amplified. When all sectarianism and the temporal and linguistic aspects are removed, the basic principles of all the Saints are in accord and the voices of the Saints are in harmony." ////////